Are Patterned Leggings Still in Style?

If you have any doubt whether patterned leggings are still in style, look no further than the countless pairs proffered by designers, fast-fashion brands, and fitness labels alike. No shortage of options exists for every single form and fashion of print that strikes your fancy. While patterned leggings are very much the look du jour, they do come with a warning label. Wear them the wrong way and you could raise an eyebrow or two — especially when you step outside the gym. But, with these styling tips, you can easily take those printed tights from the spin-room style to street style and never miss a beat.

Have a monochromatic moment

Embrace an edgier side with textured patterning paired with a monochromatic top. | Alo Yoga

Embrace an edgier side with moto patterned leggings paired with a monochromatic top | Alo Yoga

One of the most effortless ways to wear patterned leggings — and transition them out of the gym — is with a pair of moto leggings like the ones designed by Alo Yoga. Here, the patterning is subtler and shows up in a textured, monochromatic format that is still statement-making without too much pop from a bolder print. Moto leggings, especially if they have a leather look, can easily pass for normal pants on any day of the week and can be styled with everything from an edgy blouse to a white tee and moto jacket. Booties are a great way to finish the look with a bit of tough-girl charm.

Balance bold bottoms with tamer tops

patterned leggings

Flower power! Balance bold patterned leggings with minimalist tops | Stella McCartney

Bright and bold, abstract patterns such as those in Sweaty Betty’s Power Leggings or Stella McCartney for Adidas’s flower-power Purple Dark Blossom Leggings aren’t just a way to beautify that barre class, they will brighten up your street style, too. With the range of graphic patterns that are out there, forget about wearing your heart on your sleeve — it is all about wearing art on your legs. But the way to ensure your look stays modern and relevant without going too over-the-top is with a minimalist top, preferably in a neutral shade. Think business on the top half of your look, and a party on the bottom half. This could be the perfect time to pull out that perfect, fitted T-shirt or solid jacket.

Keep printed pairs current with trendsetting tops

A woman wearing patterned leggings

A woman wearing patterned leggings | iStock.com/Rohappy

Some leggings aren’t just flaunting a cool-girl print, they have other on-trend detailing to take them to the next level — and from spin studio to the sidewalk in no time flat. Update an animal-print pair with a current fringed jacket and a fedora for a look that falls on the right side of hipster edge. Or, Varley’s Palm Tights have stylish front double zipper detailing in addition to a whimsical lavender and navy pattern. Increase the cohesive appeal by repeating the zipper motif in a fitted jacket with zip detailing. Or, enhance your ensemble’s trendsetting appeal with items like a crop top and a bomber coat. Rest assured, with any of these fashion statements, your style street cred will be on point.

Dress your leggings to impress

patterned leggings

Don’t be afraid to dress up patterned leggings with a sultry top | Terez

While athleisure is a buzz word of the moment, there’s still many a reason to kick up the dressed-up flair just a few notches. And while you may only associate your printed leggings with yoga class or casual looks, with a little bit of creativity, they can become a cocktail party’s coolest new look. The key here is to pair the pants with more sophisticated pieces like a flowy, loose blouse or a draped top and, of course, a pair of heels. Those leggings will quickly take on an all new modish meaning. This look works best when the patterned pairs don’t feature mesh cutouts or other sporty performance details as those can compromise the flirtier, formalized look you’re pursuing. Lululemon’s marble-swirled Speed Wunder Tights are a good place to start. Or, try out Terez’s You’re a Stud leggings with a graphic, stud-like print.

Kick back in style

patterned leggings

Embrace the sportier side of patterned leggings by wearing them with a cool pair of kicks | Bandier

While ankle boots and heels work wonders with patterned leggings, you can always rely on a solid pair of sneakers and a chunky sweater as an effortless styling solution. It still provides a trend-forward ensemble yet is plenty appropriate for those more casual, off-duty days. This look is particularly good for the sportier tights that may have mesh detailing, seaming, or something akin to it. Prabal Gurung Sport’s graphic performance leggings are a good example. The cool, ombre print is eye-catching, and there’s no better way to wear these designer options than with a sleek pair of kicks and a fashionably oversized top.

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